METALS-Copper gains on encouraging China data
* Dollar weak vs basket of currencies
* China data shows strong imports, inflation steadies
LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Monday, helped by data from China that reinforced expectations of a rebound in demand for metals from the world's largest consumer, and hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve would keep its stimulus programme intact for longer.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose to $7,225 a tonne at 0957 GMT, up from a close of $7,160 on Friday.
The metal used in power and construction has risen by around 9 percent since touching three-year lows in June on mounting evidence that the slowdown in the Chinese economy may be bottoming out.
Data on the weekend showed China's exports rose by a forecast-beating 7.2 percent in August from a year earlier, while in-line inflation figures on Monday reflected tame consumer prices.
China is the world's largest consumer of refined copper, accounting for around 40 percent of global demand.
"What we are seeing generally is that Chinese data has been surprising on the upside and that's something that base metals have been taking their cue from," said Christin Tuxen, analyst at Danske Bank.
"Overall we could see a short-term revival in base metals but that will require that Chinese data continues to improve and also that the Fed is not too aggressive in its (stimulus measures) tapering process."
The dollar dropped against a basket of currencies, as disappointing U.S jobs data last week eased expectations that the Federal Reserve would begin paring back its stimulus programme this month.
A weak dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S. unit cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Ultra-loose monetary policy adopted by central banks around the world in the last few years has drawn investors to commodities as an alternative to interest-bearing assets.
Data also showed China's copper imports fell to 387,564 tonnes in August from a 14-month high in the previous month, but analysts said the trend still showed healthy demand as the monthly figure represented the second highest shipment this year and was 8.9 percent higher than last year.
"Even though this figure fell short of July's yearly high by 5.6 percent, the trend remains clearly upwards and proves that Chinese demand is picking up," Commerzbank analyst said in a note.
Cash tin that had surged on tight supply to $125 against benchmark three month prices - the highest in three years - eased to $25. <CMSN0-3>
Benchmark tin prices were at $23,000 a tonne, up from a close of $22,950 on Friday.
China's tin industry is turning to Myanmar to help plug a gap in the supply of raw materials after new trading rules in the world's top exporter Indonesia squeezed its major source of refined tin.
(Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr in Singapore, editing by William Hardy)